1 Reply Latest reply on Sep 16, 2020 10:17 AM by Sylvia Naylor

    Seeking US State Department aerograms on Soviet space


      Hello.I would like to track down two US State Dept. aerograms that were featured in a TV documentary that appeared on YouTube.  Unfortunately, the documentary is chock full of bad research and out-and-out BS, but the two US State Dept. documents piqued my interest, and are real things.  These are both on the Soviet space program, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in particular, and were issued in 1967 and in 1968. These are the particulars (I don't know how many pages each these are).  The first has as its title, "Cosmonaut Tragedy," dated April 27, 1967, and the Aerogram ID number is A-1694;  the second is titled "Incident Involving Cosmonaut Major Yuri Gagarin," dated February 21, 1968, and its Aerogram ID number is A-1585.


      The documentary's overall title is "The Great Soviet Cosmonaut Conspiracy,” and the URL link is:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g88x7bGnpWQ. The two documents that I would like to track down are featured at 39:39 and again at 44:02. If a NARA archivist can help me locate these, or where these two documents could be found in the NARA system, that would be greatly appreciated. All comments welcomed.



        • Re: Seeking US State Department aerograms on Soviet space
          Sylvia Naylor Scout

          Dear Mr. Pesavento,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located a series titled Subject-Numeric Files, 2/1/1963-1973 in the General Records of the Department of State (Record Group 59) that might contain documents you are seeking. In order to access records in this series, the Source Cards, 1910-1973 in Record Group 59 should be consulted as they serve as an index to this series. Please note that the 1950-1973 segment of the Source Cards are all national-security classified and are not available to researchers. For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov. RDT2 may perform very limited searches in the classified index for you.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          In addition, you may want to consult the FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES (FRUS). This is a Department of State publication of selected documents from the Department’s files and other sources. Besides providing the text of the most important documents on U.S. foreign policy, FRUS also provides a source citation (printed either as a header with the document or as a footnote). Those references to file numbers or other records identification are the keys to locating not only the printed documents but other documents on the same subject not selected for publication. Cited "Lot Files" may be difficult to identify among the records in the National Archives using just the Lot number. Volumes are available online at https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

          1 person found this helpful